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EXME 12 / 06.11
Midday Express of 2012-11-06
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The overwhelming majority of payments made from the EU budget last year were free from quantifiable error. In its annual report, the Court of Auditors confirmed that, in 2011, the overall quantified error rate for EU spending remained stable, at below 4%. With regard to the EU's account keeping, it has been given a clean bill of health by the Court of Auditors for the fifth year in a row.
The European Commission has authorised, under EU State aid rules, a Cypriot state guarantee scheme for credit institutions until 31 December 2012. The purpose of the scheme is to facilitate the access of eligible credit institutions to medium-term funding. This will help maintaining stability in the Cyprus financial sector without creating undue distortions of competition, in line with EU state aid rules.
The first initiative of European and African countries to jointly fund collaborative research projects will be agreed today during a visit by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn to Cape Town. The calls, to be launched in January with a budget of €11 million, will offer research funding in areas such as agriculture, health, climate change and energy, grouped under three headings: "Renewable Energy", "Interfacing Challenges" and "Idea driven research". The calls have been developed within the framework of the €2 million, three-year "ERA-Net for Africa" (ERAfrica) project.
The European Union has announced the launch of the second phase of the civil society programme European Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK). This programme aims to support peace-building efforts concerning the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh by facilitating dialogue between civil society, media and policy-makers.
In September 2012, compared with August 2012, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.3% in the EU27. In August prices increased by 0.9% and 1.1% respectively. These figures come from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In September 2012 compared with September 2011, industrial producer prices gained 2.7% in the euro area and 2.6% in the EU27.
Natural disasters: using science to reduce risk and improve response
A high level scientific seminar will be held on 7 and 8 November in Brussels to discuss how science can help to improve our resilience to natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy is yet another example of the increasing intensity and frequency of natural disasters to which even the best prepared are not immune. It's also yet another reason for us all to work on preparedness and better disaster response. Science and technology can offer key solutions to improve preparedness and response capacity in the face of natural and man-made disasters. The seminar 'Bridging science-based early warning and early action decision making', jointly organised by the UK Met Office and the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), will bring together experts in early detection, forecasting and warning of natural disasters as well as on impact assessment. They will map the state of the art in science-based integrated disaster management and exchange best practices to improve our preparedness and response to the ever increasing threat of natural disasters. While the seminar will focus on sudden onset disaster types in Europe -wind storms, riverine floods and coastal inundation– it will also briefly address how disaster management can concretely advance climate change adaptation and what parts of the EU experience can be applied elsewhere in the world. The event will take place from Wednesday, 7 November (starting at 12:00) to Thursday 8 November (closing at 13:00) at the Centre Albert Borchette. Attendance is open to media, but registration is mandatory. To register, please send an email to JRC-PRESS@ec.europa.eu . For further information and programme: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/index.cfm?id=1410&obj_id=4260&dt_code=EVN
Commissioner Andor: opening up the European labour market
"Europe remains less attractive than USA, Canada or Australia when it comes to highly qualified migrants". This is the key message that Lazlso Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion is delivering today at the Expert Seminar "Improving Access to Labour Market Information for Migrants and Employers" organized by LINET, the Independent Network of Labour Migration and Integration Experts. Andor stresses that migrants are often confronted with many difficulties in their efforts for finding a job while labour demand in the most dynamic economic sectors is expected to continue to rise between now and 2020. He is calling for action from the Member States: Europe should be able to quickly respond to the emerging new demands from the most competitive parts of the economy, including by opening up its labour market. He recalls that the Commission will come up before the end of the year with a EU Skills Panorama aiming at providing a comprehensive monitoring of skills needs on the EU labour market. "Filling the information gap between the employers and the migrants is a key challenge for policy makers" Andor concludes.
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